The Administrative State and The Rule of Law: Are Rollbacks Really Reform?

Administrative Law & Regulation Practice Group and Regulatory Transparency Project Teleforum

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The Trump administration has taken a number of significant steps to provide the regulatory relief that candidate Trump repeatedly promised to provide to get the economy growing again. Working with Congress, the President used the Congressional Review Act to veto an unprecedented number of regulations issued in the last days of the Obama administration.  Early in his term, President Trump issued Executive Order 13771 that established a one-in-two-out regulation reduction requirement and compliance cost caps for agency rulemaking.  The EPA has begun the process to repeal the Clean Power Plan, and has declared an end to the “war on coal.”


As a result of Trump administration initiatives, the number of new federal regulations currently under development has fallen significantly from the numbers seen in recent years.  Nevertheless, it is fair to ask whether these relief measures will create any lasting limit on the long-term expansion of the administrative state. Do rollbacks constitute reform?  If not, what would real and lasting regulatory reform look like?  What kind of reforms are needed to restore the constitutional rule of law essential for the preservation of liberty and the promotion of prosperity? This Teleforum brings together a noted business leader and legal scholar to share their perspectives on this critically important subject.



John A. Allison, Executive in Residence, Wake Forest School of Business

Prof. Philip Hamburger, Maurice and Hilda Friedman, Professor of Law, Columbia Law School


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